5 most important Minnesota Vikings players of 2021

(Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Danielle Hunter
(Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Danielle Hunter /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Eric Kendricks /

Player 4: Eric Kendricks – Linebacker

The Vikings’ linebacker core was decimated by injury last season, Anthony Barr missed practically the entire season. Just like all the other position groups on the defensive side of the ball, the Vikings’ linebacker depth was very thin. When Barr went out it was not only difficult to replace a player of that quality but it was very hard to adjust.

Despite injuries and lack of depth, the quarterback of the defense, Eric Kendricks held it together. The Vikings had no pass rush, rookies starting at cornerback with injuries everywhere you looked. Kendricks kept our defense playing at a respectable level. As long as Kendricks was on the field, the defense had a chance.

Kendricks missed the last 5 games of the season, and this practically ended the Vikings’ chances of making the playoffs.  Running back Alvin Kamara rushed for 6 touchdowns against the Vikings in one game, very unlikely something even remotely close happens with Kendricks on the field.